“Are You Ready For A Wedding?” by Paul Gnadt of The Star Group Newspapers


PlazaCo’s production of FATHER OF THE BRIDE has received another great review, this time from Paul Gnadt of The Star Group newspapers. Read on then give us a call at 817-202-0600 to come see the show.

by Paul Gnadt of The Star Group Newspapers

A young actor who used to hit set shots from behind the 3-point line is now hitting his lines on the set in the Plaza Theatre Company’s current presentation of “Father of the Bride.”

Michael Sorter, who played basketball for Joshua High School as a sophomore, has a co-starring role in the comedy that is the PTCs 79th production since it opened in 2006.
Sorter decided to take a shot at acting after his mother, Amy, was cast in a few PTC productions. He earned bench-warmer roles in Plaza’s “Dear Ruth,” “Camelot” and “Ragtime,” and liked it so much that he transferred to the Forth Worth Academy of Fine Arts, where he is a senior with a stage presence far beyond his years.

Sorter’s timing, delivery and sincerity come through in Plaza’s intimate 160-seat theater-in-the-round and make him believable as the groom-to-be who doesn’t want a large wedding and would rather elope than go through the hassle.

Sorter isn’t the only “youngster” in the cast. The bride is double cast, played by Tabitha Barrus, a college freshman who is already a veteran of 39 PTC productions and has grown up before the eyes of many audiences, and Rachal Larsen, another FWAFA senior who played the role on the night I attended.

Larsen nailed the giddiness, nervousness and hesitancy of a bride to be.

Parker Barrus (his 14th PTC production) and Nolan Moralez are two other youthful actors who turn in good performances as brothers to the bride.

Holding it together are PTC veteran Luke Hunt, who, in his 25th PTC production, is Stanley Banks, the father of the bride, and Barbara Richardson as Elle Banks, the bride’s mother.
Here’s the deal: While Buckley Dunston (the groom played by Sorter) wants a small wedding, Kay, the bride-to-be, wants to invite all of her friends.

They agree to the guest list will not exceed 50, but soon the invitation list mushrooms to 300 and Stanley Banks, the father of the bride, has visions of going broke.

Those visions become a nightmare of bankruptcy when the Banks realize they forgot to include the guests who will be invited by the groom’s family.

Things get more confusing, and awkwardly funny, when the Banks family attempts to reduce expenses by inviting some guests only to the church and others only to the reception.
The most difficult marriage of all might be the blending by Hunt of the portrayal of Mr. Banks, played in two movies by the great Spencer Tracy and then, years later, by Steve Martin.
Hunt, the theater arts director at Alvarado High School, nicely combines Tracy’s cool with Martin’s off-the-wall intensity.

Pamela Valle as Delilah the maid, Cherie Robinson as Mrs. Bellamy the secretary and Madison Heaps as Peggy, the girlfriend of Ben Banks, give good support and have some funny lines.
Russ Walker is perfect as Mr. Massoula, the pompous caterer who transforms the Banks’ living room into a buffet restaurant.

Co-directed by Soni and Jodie Barrus, with costumes by Stacey Greenawalt, “Father of the Bride” is presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 11 at the Plaza Theatre Company, 111 S. Main St. in Cleburne.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $14 for age 65 and older and high school and college students, and $13 for children age 13 and under — and can be purchased online at http://www.plaza-theatre.com, or at the box office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, or by phone at 817-202-0600.






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